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Bjorgum 1905 Norwegian Prototype Pistol (Video)


Niels Bjorgum was a Norwegian artist-turned-gun-designer who decided to try his hand at handguns for the Norwegian military. His design work ran from 1894 until 1921 or so, starting with long guns but later turning to handguns. He was able to convince the Norwegian government to sponsor his work, largely because he was one […]

Early Pistol Cartridges – What, When & Why?


In a recent discussion with a friend the topic of early automatic pistol cartridges came up. Specifically, looking at the context of which cartridges were actually available at which times, and how this might provide helpful context for understanding why particular cartridges were adopted (or commercially successful) or were not.I decided to see if I […]

Early Ruby .45 ACP Pistol


The Spanish company Gabilondo y Urresti, later to become known as Llama, introduced this locked-breech .45 ACP copy of the Colt 1911 in 1924. It was not a slavish copy, however, and introduced a captive recoil spring which would be the inspiration for that feature in the Polish Vis-35 and many later pistols.

By […]

Slow Motion: Roth-Steyr 1907


Some high-speed footage of a Roth-Steyr M1907 pistol here for you – these are rotating-barrel, locked breech pistols with trigger lockwork much akin to a Glock. Namely, the action cycling puts the striker at half cock, and the first stage of the trigger press fully cocks the striker before releasing it.


Pusan Jin Iron Works 1911


Note: I mistakenly referred to North Korea in the video, when this was actually made in South Korea. Sorry!

During (and probably for a short time after) the Korean War, a Korean facility called the Pusan Iron Works did fabrication and repair of 1911-style pistols. This particular example is serial number 247, a gun […]

Astra Model 900


The Astra 900 was a pistol developed to take advantage of a large Chinese demand for semiauto pistols with shoulder stocks, following on the massive sales of the Mauser C96 “Broomhandle” in that country. In the 1920s and 30s, civil war in China drove a huge market in arms, but international treaty had prohibited […]

Scoped C96 Conehammer Carbine


This scoped C96 carbine is serial number 12 of the original run of just 30 large-ring C96 carbines. It has the long barrel and detachable stock (in place of the standard pistol grip) of the C96 carbine. The most obvious feature, however, is the telescopic sight mounted on the piece. This was not installed […]

Vietnamese Crude 1911 Copy


This is an example of a craft-made pistol captured in Vietnam and brought back to the US. While many Vietnamese fighters were supplied with good-quality weapons from other nations (primarily Chinese-made AK and SKS rifles), weapons are virtually never in sufficient supply for guerrilla-type forces and that forces improvisation. In this case, some Vietnamese […]

Benke-Thiemann Folding Luger Holster


While most major pistols made before the 1930s had some type of shoulder stock available as an option, the Luger had much more variety of stocks than most others. In addition to the several types of wooden stocks made on military contract, there were also several commercial types of folding stocks made. One of […]

RIA: Odd Iver Johnson Prototype .32s (Video)

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These unique and unmarked prototype .32 ACP pistols are apparently Iver Johnson prototypes – and I can’t find any information on them beyond that description from their consignor. One is a simpler example in the white, and the other is a more developed example with both a manual safety and an unusual style of […]